Matthew Douglas uncovers insect fossil

This past summer, while continuing his sabbatical research on North American and South American Monarch butterflies, Dr. Matthew Douglas of GRCC’s Biology Department had the good fortune of uncovering a nearly perfect insect from the Florissant deposits of Colorado (dated at 36 million years in age).  The insect, a fly in the family Tipulidae (cranefly), was a female entombed by a volcanic explosion that caused a great deal of silt to cover an ancient freshwater lake, entrapping this specimen.

All insect fossils are very rare because insects are so delicate, and this one is particularly rare and amazingly well preserved.

A fossilized fly.

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